We’re All Ears Challenge: Marsala

Marsala color swatchThe inspiration for this month’s We’re All Ears earring design challenge is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015. That color is “marsala” which Pantone describes as a “naturally robust and earthy wine red [that] enriches our minds, bodies and souls.” That’s not asking for much for a color now, is it?

I’ve heard (read) more than a few jewelry designers state how they are less than wowed by this color and the rest of Pantone’s choices for the spring season. They feel the color palette is too subdued and lacks oomph. Well, that’s just how I like my colors.

Earth tones, grayed or even muddy hues make me feel at peace. Relaxed. Content. I like vibrant colors too. But only in small doses and for short periods of time. They have too much vibrational energy and that makes me edgy and restless. Yes, colors vibrate, or rather, their wavelengths do. And, yes, being made to feel tense by a bright color is a thing. I’m not making it up.

So, needless to say, I am thrilled by this choice for color of the year. The fact that it’s a color I look good in, which means I might find a few things in the clothes stores that I actually like this year, might also have something to do with it. But enough about me and my color quirks. You’re here to see the earrings.

The first pair of earrings I made for this challenge feature faceted rectangles of brecciated jasper. It’s a rich earthy red very close to marsala. These particular beads have a healthy dose of darker inclusions, which makes them challenging to photograph. The jasper is paired with amazonite, which is a good representation for what Pantone is calling “lucite green.” The beads are accented with antique brass bead caps and wires. Pantone calles their spring color palette for women “en plein air” and I’m calling these earrings “Wine al fresco.”

Wine al fresco earrings

These “Wine al fresco” earrings have earthy red brecciated jasper rectangles in a faceted cut. They are paired with amazonite rounds under antique brass finish bead caps on antique brass finish wires.

I have a fair assortment of beads in brecciated jasper. I bought all of it well before the announcement of this year’s color. It’s a happy coincidence that it is such a lovely match for marsala. For these “Wild Flowers are Free” earrings, the earthy red beads carved in the shape of flowers are paired with more amazonite, this time with a frosted finish. And some blue aventurine, which picks up the blue hues from the “en plain air” palette. Antique finish brass wire is rustic wrapped around the beads to pull the earthy organic look together.

Wild Flowers earrings

These “Wild Flowers are Free” earrings have flowers carved from brecciated jasper, complemented with green amazonite and blue aventurine. They are rustic-wrapped with antique finish brass wire.

The final pair of earrings created for this challenge uses garnet as the earthy red component. The garnet chips are wrapped in clusters on antique finish brass wire to dangle above slate gray ovals. I’m pretty sure the ovals are jasper, but don’t ask me what kind. I chose them to bring another neutral from the “en plain air” palette into the design: glacier gray. Which is why I’m calling these “Chilled Wine.”

Chilled Wine Earrings

The earthy red beads in these “Chilled Wine” earrings are garnet chips. They dangle on antique brass finish wire-wrapped clusters above gray jasper ovals.

That’s it for my earring designs for this month’s challenge. Thanks much to our hostess, Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati, for choosing this delightful inspiration. Be sure to stop by the Earrings Every Day blog to check out her designs and those of the other jewelry artists participating in the challenge.

But before you go, I’d love to hear what you think about my earring designs for this challenge. Is marsala, or any of the other colors this season, something you’d wear? Or do you prefer your colors to have more zing?

28 thoughts on “We’re All Ears Challenge: Marsala

  1. Fiona Robertson

    Well, I thought the Panetone colours were a bit dull but you have certainly zinged the marsalla up against the blues! I wish I’d thought of that…you obviously have good instincts for colour. Lovely designs…xx

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Fiona. I like to pair warm reds and oranges with cool blues and greens. Turquoise with carnelian is one of my favorite pairings.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Susan. I strive to make “wear everyday” jewelry. Although I do enjoy an over the top special occasion design now and then too.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Nathalie. The antique brass just seemed “right” for these designs. I’ve been using it more and more since last year and it’s really growing on me. But my heart will still always belong to copper. 😉

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Alice. I used stones exclusively when I began making jewelry. I’ve branched out in every direction from glass to polymer clay since then, but I always come back to stones.

  2. Kathy Lindemer

    Great earrings! I would wear any one of them. The color combinations are well thought out and work!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Kathy. I love having a color palette to choose from that makes me happy.

  3. Cindy

    I loved reading your analysis of color and vibrational energy. Those jasper beads paired with amazonite are stunning, and the addition of the little pop of blue adventurine is perfect. The gray jasper with the garnet chips are making me drool. Seriously love those. Your sense of color and the balance of your designs are just lovely.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Beth. I have to remember to go clothes shopping soon and stock up while this color palette is available in stores near me. 😉

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Gloria. This year’s palette is really “my” colors so I think people will be seeing more of these color pairings from me.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Terri. The warm metal seemed like the right choice for this palette. Although I could see those beads with some silver too. It would give it a brighter mood, I think.

  4. oksana

    Jasper looks amazing in the earrings #1 &2! And what a great idea to use garnet — I almost forgot that it’s pretty close to marsala. Great job!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Oksana. The garnet was the first thing I thought of in my gemstone stash for this challenge. But I found the jasper first when I was searching. Sometimes clutter leads to creativity. 😉

  5. Mona Arnott

    I think the grey Jasper and Garnet “Chilled Wine” earrings are my favourites. I love the sublety of the colours. Actually the grey stones remind me of some grey marble that I have. Maybe the same?

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      You may be right, Mona. Those gray beads could also be marble. They don’t have any pattern to them so it’s a challenge for me to figure out.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Katherine. Gemstones are my first love when it comes to jewelry making. 🙂

  6. Sarajo Wentling

    I don’t have a problem with Marsala as color of the year, but like the more saturated versions of it… Pantone shows it as both a vibrant wine color and a muddy almost brown. Not crazy about the muted spring palette overall. That being said, I love your earrings, especially the first and last pairs. I like the way the amazonite gives a little pop to that first pair.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Sarajo. I guess what I like about marsala is that no matter the tint or shade, it’s always warm and earthy. And it paris well with blues and greens.

  7. Erin Prais-Hintz

    Yes! Colors do vibrate, don’t they?! Last year’s color, radiant orchid, was almost too much. I do prefer muted tones as well. I used to only design in these colors. But the pop that a bright color brings enlivens a piece. That said, I am really digging the little bit of amazonite with the marsala color. And that jasper is a perfect match! I might have some of that lurking around! Thanks for joining in the We’re All Ears challenge for January. Check back on February 6th for the next inspiration! Enjoy the day. Erin

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      They certainly do vibrate, Erin. And I think some of us are more sensitive to it than others, just as some are more sensitive to temperature extremes or noises or smells. It’s good we’re not all the same. Variety, spice, and all that. 😉 Looking forward to what you will challenge us with next month.

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